Microsoft’s annual developer event – Microsoft Build 2021, kicked off yesterday in an all-virtual format. The event’s primary focus is on developers and how Microsoft plans to empower them and lead them to be the digital creators of the next generation via its powerful cloud solutions.
The major announcements so far have been around Microsoft’s intelligent cloud solution and its rich developer toolkit including Visual Studio Family, GitHub, and .NET. Some important feature updates were announced for Azure, Microsoft Teams, Edge, and Office solutions.
The event started with a keynote by Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella who confirmed the unveiling of the company’s next-generation Windows operating system very soon.
“Our promise to you is this: We will create more opportunities for every Windows developer today and welcome every creator who is looking for the most innovative, new, open platform to build and distribute and monetize applications.” Satya during his keynote at Microsoft Build 2021.
We are building the platform for platform creators. At #MSBuild, we are introducing more than 100 new updates and services across the tech stack to make creating easier for every developer. https://t.co/QT72JMA9ls
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) May 25, 2021
While he did not reveal any key details related to the revamped version of Windows, it is going to be one of the biggest tech stories to look forward to this year.
Moving forward, let’s look at the major highlights and product announcements at Microsoft Build 2021 so far. Keep scrolling.
Microsoft Build 2021: Key Announcements so far
With over 145 million daily active users, Microsoft Teams is a preferred option for communication and collaboration by teams worldwide. Also, with the present pandemic situation, the need for smoother communications has only risen. Microsoft announced several updates to Teams during the first day of the developer conference.
The tech giant further announced new meeting features within Teams – such as Together Mode extensibility, shared stage, and more.
Windows is the most popular platform across the world and is used extensively to build and develop modern applications. Microsoft announced new features in their developer tool offerings for Windows developers for enhanced productivity and satisfaction. Developers can now use GUI support on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). This allows seamless integrations with any workflow with Linux, GUI apps, and GPU-accelerated ML training. Other Windows-focused updates include:
- An updated preview of Project Reunion to help developers create and modernize Windows app seamlessly.
- New development optimizations for Windows Terminal including a new feature called Quake Mode.
- New Windows Package Manager 1.0 to help developers install, upgrade, and import packages on Windows 10.
- WinML – an on-device ML API for deploying ML models within Windows applications.
- New voice and video support added to Azure Communication Services called SDK for Windows.
- New Windows on ARM-based dev kit for developers – a miniature PC that will be launched at Microsoft Store this summer.
Check out this blog for more info.
Integration of Azure Security Center and GitHub
Microsoft announced the public preview of Azure Security Center (ASC) integration with GitHub actions.
Intending to incorporate security in the early stages of the development life-cycle, Microsoft announced the integration of Azure Security Center and GitHub. This will further enhance collaboration between the development and security teams. Microsoft emphasizes the need and importance of collaborative development. But instead of trying and fixing bugs once the software is released, this feature update will enable security teams to be aware of the entire development life-cycle and thus ensure security at all levels.
This further allows the DevSecOps teams to run vulnerability scans, resolve findings, and visualize the security posture of workflows within their CI/CD pipeline.
Azure is an inherent part of Microsoft’s solutions and hence the tech giant introduced a slew of updates to its intelligent cloud. The major updates included:
- The company announced key updates to its Azure AI services including Azure Bot Services, Azure Video Analyzer, and more.
- It announced the general availability of Azure Metrics Advisor.
- Introduced a new category – Azure Applied AI services with services including but not limited to Azure Cognitive Search, Azure Form Recognizer and Azure Immersive Reader.
- New capabilities for document translation and text analytics added to Azure cognitive service.
- The company also announced ML capabilities updates to accelerate AI model deployment – Azure Machine Learning Managed Endpoints (which is also now in available for preview) and Power Fx.
- PyTorch Enterprise support on Microsoft Azure.
- Azure app services can now run on Kubernetes clusters with Azure Arc.
Other updates included Azure Cosmos DB update, Azure Communication Services Updates, Azure Logic Apps updates, New Azure Marketplace Offers, and more.
Visual Studio, with over 25 million monthly users, remains to be one of the most popular developer tools. At Microsoft Build 2021, the company announced the general availability of the latest update of Visual Studio 2019. The update includes productivity enhancements for .NET and C++ development, support for creating GitHub Actions workflows directly from the IDE, enhanced built-in Git tooling, improved container tooling, and new Azure Integrations for cloud development.
Microsoft also announced their vision for the next breakthrough in Visual Studio and further released the roadmap for Visual Studio 2022.
Microsoft Edge 91
On the first day of the Microsoft Build conference, the company announced the new Edge 91. New browser capabilities will include features like Sleeping Tabs for enhanced productivity and efficiency and Startup Boost for quick launching. Read more on this update, here.
Power BI and Cosmos DB updates
Microsoft announced the ability for Power BI dataflows to handle streaming data sources, starting with Azure Event Hubs and Azure IoT Hubs. The new feature promises to make streaming data and real-time analytics accessible. It also announced a new feature – automatic aggregations.
On the different set of announcements, Cosmos DB is all set to bring its serverless option into general availability. Some other features update include role-based access controls (RBAC), an integrated cache, and Always Encrypted.
We tried to cover all major announcements during Microsoft Build Day 1 and Day 2. Watch this space for more updates as and when they are announced.
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